More stories

  • in

    A Short Documentary Explores the Life of the ‘Artifact Artist’ Who’s Been Excavating New York City’s Trash for Decades

    
    Art
    Documentary
    History

    #found objects
    #new york city
    #trash
    #upcycling
    #video

    April 19, 2021
    Grace Ebert

    Jordan in his home
    Descending into old privies, scouring landfills, and sneaking onto construction sites in the middle of the night are habitual activities for urban archaeologist Scott Jordan. For nearly five decades, he’s been excavating the trash and forgotten artifacts buried deep underneath New York City’s residential areas and fast-growing developments. His findings are diverse and revealing of the area’s past, offering a glimpse into the consumption habits and lifestyles of previous generations that date back to the 18th Century.
    A new documentary produced by Kaleidoscope Pictures chronicles Jordan’s lifelong practice that involves digging and uncovering items that he then transforms into new artworks. Dubbed “The Artifact Artist,” the short film by the same name follows the archaeologist and historian as he pulls glass bottles, Civil War-era garments, and small toys from the earth. While Jordan cleans and restores much of the pottery and well-preserved items, he utilizes the rest to create jewelry and assembled, sculptural works that nestle into shadowboxes, which he then sells at flea markets.
    Watch the full documentary below, and find more information on Jordan’s site, Things Found NYC, which he runs with Belle Costes. Shop the pair’s findings on Etsy. (via Kottke)

    
    Jordan digging in New York City
    Jordan in his home
    A collection of Jordan’s artworks made from items he found
    Jordan in his home
    Items in Jordan’s collection

    #found objects
    #new york city
    #trash
    #upcycling
    #video

    Do stories and artists like this matter to you? Become a Colossal Member and support independent arts publishing. Join a community of like-minded readers who are passionate about contemporary art, help support our interview series, gain access to partner discounts, and much more. Join now!

     
    Share this story
      More

  • in

    Delightful Nighttime Landscapes Nestle into Stacked Wooden Boxes in Allison May Kiphuth’s Dioramas

    
    Art

    #animals
    #dioramas
    #found objects
    #miniature
    #mixed media
    #nature
    #sculpture
    #watercolor

    February 3, 2021
    Grace Ebert

    All images © Allison May Kiphuth, shared with permission
    Allison May Kiphuth (previously) shrinks the expansive landscapes found throughout the eastern United States into picturesque dioramas brimming with natural life. Through layered watercolor and ink renderings, the Maine-based artist creates a mix of quiet forest scenes and ocean habitats often under a dark, nighttime sky. She then stacks the outfitted wooden boxes, blending the marine and land-based pieces in varying positions that create new ecosystems with every combination.
    Although Kiphuth derives much of her subject matter from the area around her home, she shares that experiencing new scenes is essential to her practice. “I haven’t been outside of Maine in over a year, and while this landscape is usually so expansively beautiful to me, without the contrast of other landscapes for perspective, it’s been feeling incredibly small,” a feeling that’s amplified by her living and working from a tiny home that’s just 8 x 20 feet.
    The artist has a solo show slated for August at Antler Gallery in Portland, and limited edition prints of the piece above are available from Nahcotta. Get a glimpse into Kiphuth’s process and views of the scenery she references in her works on Instagram.

    “Bond,” watercolor, paper, and pins in antique box, 4 x 6 x 2 inches
    “Defense,” watercolor, paper, and pins in antique box, 4.625 x 7 x 3.75 inches
    Left: “Den” (2019), watercolor on layers of hand-cut paper, sealed with encaustic, 6 x 6.5 x .5 inches
    “Nightlight 2,” Watercolor, paper, thread, and pins in antique box, 6.25 x 4.875 x 3.25 inches
    “Observation” (2019), watercolor on layers of hand-cut paper, sealed with encaustic, 6 x 6 x .5 inches
    “Defense” in progress

    #animals
    #dioramas
    #found objects
    #miniature
    #mixed media
    #nature
    #sculpture
    #watercolor

    Do stories and artists like this matter to you? Become a Colossal Member and support independent arts publishing. Join a community of like-minded readers who are passionate about contemporary art, help support our interview series, gain access to partner discounts, and much more. Join now!

     
    Share this story
      More

  • in

    Oversized Butterflies, Moths, and Beetles Cloak Vintage Books in Paintings by Rose Sanderson

    
    Art

    #acrylic
    #books
    #butterflies
    #found objects
    #insects
    #painting

    January 27, 2021
    Grace Ebert

    All images © Rose Sanderson, shared with permission
    Worn copies of World Books, agricultural texts, and classic novels become canvases for Rose Sanderson’s insect studies. Now a few years old, the expansive series boasts more than 100 paintings featuring beetles, moths, and butterflies that splay across the printed material. Each specimen is enlarged to showcase the details of their bodies as they wrap around the tattered spines.
    In a note to Colossal, Sanderson shares that her process is more cyclical than linear as she’s constantly resurfacing themes, materials, and methods from earlier works or those she previously set aside. While her focus currently is on abstract interpretations of the lichens found near her home in West Wales, she draws a connection between the intricacies of the organisms she paints today and the insects of her book series.
    Keep an eye out for Sanderson’s work in Issue #24 of Create! Magazine that’s curated by Colossal’s Editor-in-Chief Christopher Jobson. You can follow her specimen-centric projects, which include forays into miniature and 3-D, on Instagram.

    #acrylic
    #books
    #butterflies
    #found objects
    #insects
    #painting

    Do stories and artists like this matter to you? Become a Colossal Member and support independent arts publishing. Join a community of like-minded readers who are passionate about contemporary art, help support our interview series, gain access to partner discounts, and much more. Join now!

     
    Share this story
      More

  • in

    Duplicate Limbs and Unusual Mashups Revitalize Vintage Ceramic Creatures by Artist Debra Broz

    
    Art
    Craft

    #animals
    #ceramics
    #found objects
    #humor
    #surreal

    January 19, 2021
    Grace Ebert

    All images courtesy of Paradigm Gallery
    Simultaneously adorable and bizarre, Debra Broz’s porcelain creatures breathe new life into antique knick-knacks. The Los Angeles-based artist (previously) carefully gathers discarded figurines that she separates and reassembles into humorous and unusual sculptures: an entire flock of ducklings balances on just two feet, a hooved cat carries its equine baby, and tree branches sprout from a lounging ballerina.
    Broz’s hybrid animals are included in Salvage, a group exhibition curated by Colossal’s Founder and Editor-in-Chief Christopher Jobson at Paradigm Gallery + Studio in Philadelphia. Through the work of three artists and pieces from the Recycled Artist in Residency Program, Salvage examines how artists are revitalizing fragments of tradition and culture that were destined to be lost, relegated to the periphery, or buried forever. The show opens on January 22 with a live talk with Jobson, Broz, and artists Yurim Gough and André Schulze—tickets are available on Eventbrite—and runs through February 20.

    #animals
    #ceramics
    #found objects
    #humor
    #surreal

    Do stories and artists like this matter to you? Become a Colossal Member and support independent arts publishing. Join a community of like-minded readers who are passionate about contemporary art, help support our interview series, gain access to partner discounts, and much more. Join now!

     
    Share this story
      More

  • in

    A Tyrannical Tabby Rules an Opulent Assemblage of Densely Layered Scenes by Artist Kris Kuksi

    
    Art

    #assemblage
    #cats
    #found objects

    January 15, 2021
    Grace Ebert

    “Tabby Tyrant” (2021), mixed-media assemblage, 31 x 31 x 9 inches. All images courtesy of the artist and Joshua Liner Gallery, shared with permission
    A bejeweled tabby presides over Kris Kuksi’s sprawling new landscape teeming with retro figures, ornate baubles, and mass-produced trinkets all blanketed with a thick coat of metallic paint. The Lawrence, Kansas-based artist (previously) melds found objects into complex, frieze-style assemblages that are infused with themes of “historical narratives, biblical subjects, animal worship, architecture, symbolic views on commerce and development, as well as human psychology and behavior.”
    Titled “Tabby Tyrant,” the fantastical work is replete with juxtapositions: the individual and the collective, peace and war, industrial and classical architecture, and historic and modern. Minuscule soldiers wrangle a winged figure, a mouse swallows a human whole, and a team of warriors is outfitted with anachronistic weapons, although every action is in service of the feline ruler. Depicting disquieting and eerie actions, each scene is presented through opulent, gilded tableaus.
    For more of Kuksi’s densely layered artworks, pick up a copy of his book Conquest and follow him on Instagram.

    #assemblage
    #cats
    #found objects

    Do stories and artists like this matter to you? Become a Colossal Member and support independent arts publishing. Join a community of like-minded readers who are passionate about contemporary art, help support our interview series, gain access to partner discounts, and much more. Join now!

     
    Share this story
      More

  • in

    More Than 90 Artists Create Original Works on Vintage Envelopes for ‘Couriers of Hope’

    
    Art
    Illustration

    #animals
    #drawing
    #envelopes
    #found objects
    #mail art
    #watercolor

    January 14, 2021
    Grace Ebert

    By Andrew Hem
    What brings you hope? That’s the central question behind a new group exhibition presented by Port City Creative Guild. Couriers of Hope boasts more than 120 original pieces from more than 90 artists—the list includes Rosanne Kang Jovanovski, Andrew Hem (previously), Sean Chao (previously), and Yoskay Yamamoto—all rendered on vintage envelopes. Prompted by the mail art movement of the 1960s, the exhibition features an eclectic array of watercolor, pencil, and mixed-media illustrations that transform the miniature canvases into the artists’ vision for the future, whether through relaxed otters, peaches, or vivid portraits. Many of the works prominently display original postmarks and stamps and serve as a reminder that communication doesn’t have to be digital.
    Students from Long Beach Unified School District have the opportunity to acquire one of the envelopes by trading their own response to the artists’ same prompt, with the guild providing art supplies for participants to ensure that everyone has access to the initiative. The show was curated collectively by a Long Beach Museum of Art, Creative Arts Coalition to Transform Urban Space, Flatline, Inspired LBC, The Icehouse x Ink and Drink Long Beach, Arts Council Long Beach, Carolyn Campagna Kleefeld Contemporary Art Museum, Pacific Island Ethnic Art Museum, Compound LBC, and the Creative Class Collective.
    Couriers of Hope will be on display in the windows of the Psychic Temple of the Holy Kiss in downtown Long Beach and on the guild’s site for virtual viewing from January 19 to February 28, 2021.

    By Sean Chao
    By Megan Boterenbrood
    By Adam Harrison
    By Bodeck Luna
    By Christine Yoon
    By Hilary Norcliffe
    By Judy Kepes
    Left: By Jonathan Martinez. Right: By Kelly Yamagishi
    By Narsiso Martinez
    By Rosanne Kang Jovanovski
    By Sean Chao

    #animals
    #drawing
    #envelopes
    #found objects
    #mail art
    #watercolor

    Do stories and artists like this matter to you? Become a Colossal Member and support independent arts publishing. Join a community of like-minded readers who are passionate about contemporary art, help support our interview series, gain access to partner discounts, and much more. Join now!

     
    Share this story
      More

  • in

    Vibrant Botanic Embroideries Embellish the Dried Leaf Sculptures of Hillary Waters Fayle

    
    Art
    Craft

    #embroidery
    #found objects
    #leaves
    #sculpture
    #seeds
    #thread

    December 29, 2020
    Grace Ebert

    All images via the artist and Momentum Gallery
    Merging traditional craft techniques and the natural world’s abundant materials, Hillary Waters Fayle (previously) meticulously stitches brightly hued florals into found camellia leaves and other foliage. From simple lines and ribbing to fully rendered botanics, the thread-based embellishments interrupt the fragile matter. The resulting sculptures evidence nature’s durability while juxtaposing the organic material with the fabricated additions.
    In the interview below, Waters Fayle describes how she gathers leaves and seed pods from areas around her home in Richmond, Virginia, and notes that her practice is rooted in sustainability. By using materials that are already available, like thread from her grandmother, the artist strives for zero-waste in her practice. Overall, her intention is to “bind nature and human touch,” magnifying how the two interact.
    Head to Waters Fayle’s site or Instagram to view a larger collection of her embroidered works. You also might enjoy Susanna Bauer’s crocheted leaves.

    “Inherent,” hand-stitched camellia leaves, 5 x 5 inches
    “Implications,” hand-stitched camellia leaves, 4-3/4 x 4-3/4 inches
    “Circle Inscribed,” hand-stitched camellia leaves, 5 x 5 inches
    “Reaching Toward The Other,” hand-stitched camellia leaves, 4-1/2 x 2 inches
    “Flora Series 7,” hand-embroidered foliage, 6 x 6 inches
    

    #embroidery
    #found objects
    #leaves
    #sculpture
    #seeds
    #thread

    Do stories and artists like this matter to you? Become a Colossal Member and support independent arts publishing. Join a community of like-minded readers who are passionate about contemporary art, help support our interview series, gain access to partner discounts, and much more. Join now!

     
    Share this story
      More

  • in

    Teeming with Flourishes, Narrative Sculptures by Amber Cowan Revitalize Vintage Pressed Glass

    
    Art

    #found objects
    #glass
    #narrative
    #sculpture

    December 23, 2020
    Grace Ebert

    “Bridesmaid Returns to the Shore of Her Full Moon” (2019), glass and mixed media, 23 x 22 x 9.5. Photo by Matthew Hollerbush. All images © Amber Cowan, shared with permission
    The monochromatic assemblages of Amber Cowan (previously) are at once domestic narratives and homages to an abandoned industry. Delicate baubles frame a central figure or scene that the Philadelphia-based artist illustrates with scraps of pressed glass. Whether focused on a lone bridesmaid or a hen hoarding eggs, Cowan’s works explore the feminine experience through themes of “loneliness, the search for meaning, the search for love, and the following of symbolism in the mundane.”
    Cowan shops at antique stores and markets for materials, although she more frequently scours scrapyards around the country for discarded bits of glass, which are known as cullets. As a whole, the now-defunct industry was booming from the mid-1800s before it dropped off during the 20th Century. “Nowadays, this material is out of fashion and relegated to the dustbin of American design,” the artist writes, noting that she often finds masses of historic hues at the scrapyards. “These barrels of color are often the last of their run, and my work will essentially give the formulas their final resting place and visually abundant celebration of life.”
    Some of Cowan’s work is included in the recently published book, Objects: USA 2020. If you’re in New York, her piece “Dance of the Pacific Coast Highway at Sunset” is permanently on view at The Museum of Arts and Design, and she’s also part of an upcoming group exhibition at R & Co. Gallery. Until then, explore more of her textured sculptures on her site and Instagram.

    “Young Love Resting in Gray Meadow” (2019), glass and mixed media, 22 x 19 x 11 inches. Photo by Matthew Hollerbush
    “Nautilus in Crown Tuscan” (2019), glass and mixed media, 8 x 4 x 12 inches. Photo by Matthew Hollerbush
    “Hen Collecting All of Her Ova” (2020), glass and mixed media, 18 x 20 x 9 inches. Photo by Constance Mensh
    Detail of “Bridesmaid Returns to the Shore of Her Full Moon” (2019), glass and mixed media, 23 x 22 x 9.5. Photo by Matthew Hollerbush
    “Snail Passing Through the Garden of Inanna” (2019), glass and mixed media, 22 x 19.5 x 10.5. Photo by Matthew Hollerbush
    “Dance of the Pacific Coast Highway at Sunset” (2019), glass and mixed media, 34 x 46 x 12.5 inches. Photo by Constance Mensh
    “Hen Collecting All of Her Ova” (2020), glass and mixed media, 18 x 20 x 9 inches. Photo by Constance Mensh
    “Bubble Bath in the Tunnel of Love” (2020), glass and mixed media, 25 x 25 x 15 inches. Photo by Constance Mensh

    #found objects
    #glass
    #narrative
    #sculpture

    Do stories and artists like this matter to you? Become a Colossal Member and support independent arts publishing. Join a community of like-minded readers who are passionate about contemporary art, help support our interview series, gain access to partner discounts, and much more. Join now!

     
    Share this story
      More